Events - 05.11.2018 - 00:00 

Lukas Hartmann to lecture at the University of St.Gallen

The Swiss writer Lukas Hartmann will give a three-part guest lecture in the context of the public programme. He will speak about the genesis of three of his historical novels. The first lecture will take place in the Literature Room in the Post Office Building opposite the Main Railway Station on Thursday, 8 November 2018.

5 November 2018. How did Lukas Hartmann’s historical novels Bis ans Ende der Meere [As far as the end of the seas] (2009) Abschied von Sansibar [Goodbye to Zanzibar] (2013) and Ein Bild von Lydia [A picture of Lydia] (2018) come into being? Hartmann will present the story behind them in a mixture of workshop reports and readings.

Three historical novels
In the seafaring novel Bis ans Ende der Meere, Lukas Hartmann describes how in 1776 the young draughtsman John Webber joins Captain James Cook to set out on the latter’s third round-the-world voyage. He becomes the Captain’s confidant, nearly dies and meets his great love. Four years later, Webber returns, marked by the trials and tribulations of the journey. A yearning for the South Sea will stay with him for the rest of his life.

Abschied von Sansibar focuses on Emily Ruete a.k.a Salme, Princess of Oman and Zanzibar, who fled to Germany out of love. Lukas Hartmann illustrates her life from the perspective of her three children. The lifelines of the three children Said, Antonie and Rosalie run between orient and occident, Islam and Christianity, and German discipline and unbridled exoticism. In their various ways, all three of them are drawn into the midst of the disasters of the 20th century.

In his latest book, Ein Bild von Lydia, Hartmann recounts the love story between Lydia Welti-Escher (1858-1891), the daughter of "Railway King" Alfred Escher, and the artist Karl Stauffer-Bern (1857-1891). The story has cinematic potential: she is intelligent, she is a lover of art, and after her father’s death she is Switzerland’s richest woman. She is married to the son of a powerful politician. She is prepared to put all this at stake – all for the love of an artist.

Books for adults and children
Lukas Hartmann was born in Berne in 1944. He attended a teacher's training college. He initially worked as a teacher and later as an editor for Radio DRS. Then he studied psychology. Today, he is a freelance writer and lives in Spiegel near Berne. His first novel was entitled Ausbruch [Breaking out] and was published in 1970, at the time still under the name of Hans-Rudolf Lehmann. To begin with, he only wrote for adults. His first book for children, Anna annA, appeared in 1984. Today he writes novels – historical novels in particular and stories for both adults, children and young people.

Thursday, 6.15-7.45 p.m., Raum für Literatur, Post Office Building near St.Gallen Railway Station (south entrance, St.Leonhard-Strasse 40, 3rd floor, lift available)
8 November, 15 November and 22 November 2018

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